In a letter to Amitabh Choudhary, acting secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, and Vinod Rai, the chairman of the Committee of Administrators, on Thursday (July 13), the Cricket Advisory Committee consisting of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman expressed its dismay at suggestions in the media that it has exceeded its mandate in appointing Zaheer Khan and Rahul Dravid as the support staff in addition to picking Ravi Shastri as the head coach of the Indian team.
“You will be well aware that we put our heart and soul into the process, approaching a task made delicate by the recent developments with a clear head and with the sole aim of providing the Indian team with the best resources possible to become the world beaters they are capable of being,” the letter stated.
“It has both pained and disappointed us therefore to see the light in which CAC has been portrayed in various sections of the media. While we all know that none of these reports are true it is out in public domain and the average cricket fan will in good faith believe them.
“There have been suggestions that the CAC has exceeded its ambit in going with Mr. Khan and Mr. Dravid and that these two legends of Indian cricket have been foisted on the head coach.”
The CAC made an appeal to the BCCI to clarify the matter and ensure Indian cricket fans knew that wasn’t the case.
“We also bring to your notice the email you had circulated to us saying that we had absolutely free hand in picking the coach of the Indian cricket team. Also we did inform you over the phone along with Rahul Johri and Amitabh Choudhary of all that transpired immediately after the meeting was over.
“As we have outlined, that is not the case and it is imperative that the cricket loving public at large is made aware of the reality. We could do it ourselves, of course but we didn’t want to further queer the pitch. So we would respectfully request you to clear the air and set the record straight in this regard.”
The CAC outlined that it had conferred with Shastri and only after receiving his consent did it recommend the names of Zaheer and Dravid.
“It is our desire that you come public about the transparency of the process of identifying the next head coach so that these falsehoods are put to rest. Taking various factors into account, we decided that Mr. Ravi Shastri was the best man for the job but we also felt that Indian cricket would be better served if Mr. Shastri had the services of Mr. Zaheer Khan as bowling consultant and Mr. Rahul Dravid as batting consultant for overseas Test matches of which several are lined up in the next two years.
“We spoke to Mr. Shastri about getting Mr. Khan and Mr. Dravid on board in these capacities and he readily agreed to the idea of having them in the set up so that it would benefit the team and Indian cricket as a whole in time to come. It was only after getting Mr. Shastri’s consent that we also recommended the names of Mr. Khan and Mr. Dravid in their respective capacities.”
The BCCI responded on Thursday evening through a media release, expressing their gratitude to the CAC members for the “the selfless pro bono service” in assisting them with the selection of the head coach.
“The three members of the committee – Mr. Sourav Ganguly, Mr. Sachin Tendulkar and Mr. VVS Laxman – have executed the assigned task with total transparency, professionalism and commitment to Indian cricket,” stated the media release.
The release, which was unsigned, also seemed to indicate that Dravid and Zaheer would not have full-time roles, while leaving the exact nature of their association with the team fluid, simply stating that they would be consultants “on an overseas tour-to-tour basis” as per the team’s requirement.
“The recommendation for Mr. Ravi Shastri was made on the merit of his presentation and the vision that he projected for taking the team to greater heights. After taking the decision on his selection, the CAC consulted him and decided on having Batting and Bowling consultants on overseas tour-to-tour basis, as per the requirement of the team.”